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Firas Zahabi: GSP May Retire After UFC 167
Longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre will face arguably the toughest challenge of his storied career when he steps into the cage to fight No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 167 this November 17 from Las Vegas.
People thinks that ‘Bigg Rigg’ is finally the man who can match GSP’s vaunted wrestling, and that his knockout power may be too much for GSP to handle. But if St. Pierre turns in another classic performance and grinds Hendricks out in dominant fashion, where should he go from there? His head trainer Firas Zahabi appeared on Canadian talk show TVA Sports to suggest that GSP will have nothing left to prove, and may hang the gloves up for good:
“If he still has the motivation for another training camp, it will continue. Otherwise, he will take his retirement. Motivation is the most important thing. When you do not have it, you have nothing. Georges is motivated for this camp. He trains well. We need to train and train all day long, it is not easy, it’s really something. It takes a special mind to do the ultimate fighting.”
St. Pierre has run roughshod over the UFC 170-pound arena for years now his only hiccup being his shocking knockout loss to Matt Serra, which he avenged with a series of body-throttling knees. He sits with eight straight title defenses, a record, and has taken out some of the finest welterweights the UFC has ever seen.
Although St. Pierre has come under intense fire in recent years for his lack of finishes, it is impossible to argue with his dominance. He’s been the ultimate gameplanner, neutralizing any and all of his opponents’ perceived strengths. There’s not much left for him to prove at welterweight, and with good friend and training partner Rory MacDonald steadily rising in the division, GSP may look to avoid that bout by retiring on top.
Talk of a GSP vs. Anderson Silva superfight, once the hottest topic in all of MMA, has almost cooled completely after Silva’s loss to Chris Weidman and St. Pierre’s overall disinterest. If he beats Hendricks, there really isn’t anything left for him to prove or anyone left to beat that poses a significant threat. Demian Maia was thought to be a contender, but he lost to Jake Shields earlier this week, and no one wants to see GSP rematch the latter.
It’s been a phenomenal career for St. Pierre. Win or lose at UFC 167, he’s still the greatest welterweight champion the Octagon has ever seen and one of the best mixed martial artists of all time. I’d like to see GSP lace up the gloves a couple more times after UFC 167, but if his motivation isn’t there, there’s no need to step into the cage one more time. What do you think? Should GSP retire following his epic bout with Hendricks?